Review: Burleigh Court Hotel – a family-run, beautiful and affordable Cotswolds hotel
What I loved about it:
Burleigh Court feels like a secret hideaway. With only 18 bedrooms, the 200-year-old manor house is a luxury bolt hole at a ridiculously good price for the Cotswolds. It’s small, intimate and friendly, and its oak-panelled two AA Rosette restaurant serving local and sustainable food is a real treat.
Value for money (out of 10):
It’s a bold claim to say Burleigh Court Hotel is an affordable Cotswolds hotel but with prices starting from £139 per night for a double room with breakfast, it’s justified. Cotswolds hotels can easily charge upwards of £400 a night, and even posh pubs with rooms want at least £200 a night, so Burleigh Court feels reasonable, which is a great place to start.
We arrive at the hotel after crossing Rodborough and Minchinhampton Commons, sites of special scientific interest that date back nearly 6,000 years and are covered in ridges and furrows, thought to be the earthworks from the remains of a possible Iron Age settlement.
Down a steep narrow country lane, we swing into Burleigh Court, and the gardens overlooking Golden Valley spread out around the house. The hotel is grand, but not too grand that I feel awkward wearing trainers – and in the entrance hall a log fire is crackling, a basket of blankets are waiting to be snuggled into on the terrace, a friendly face is behind the reception desk and a well-stocked bar is tucked off to one side.
The 18 rooms are split into five categories – classic, cosy, superior, and noteworthy, plus some pet-friendly rooms in the neighbouring coach house. Each bedroom is individually decorated with a stylish mix of antique furniture, huge beds, soft rugs and throws, and unusual ornaments.
We stayed in room three, a recently renovated superior room – plenty big enough to accommodate an extra bed for our daughter – with two window seats in its round bay window, a super king bed, elegant dressing table, fireplace and en suite with walk-in shower. It was wonderfully peaceful.
Burleigh Court’s restaurant is a highlight of the hotel. Currently holding two AA Rosettes, it’s targeting three and serves up a delicious menu of local, sustainable and in season dishes. The oak-panelling gives the dining room gravitas, but it’s not in the least bit stuffy; simply warm and welcoming.
Our evening started on the big squishy sofas by the fireplace in the dual aspect lounge, filled with a country-house mix of furniture and antiques in tasteful tones and textures, and we ordered local drinks (Cotswolds gin, and a pale ale on tap).
Burleigh Court restaurant offers two courses for £32, three for £45, and starters when we were there in February included seared mackerel fillet with charred cauliflower, raviolo of aged long horn beef shin in celeriac and truffle consommé, and confit Loch Duart salmon fillet with compressed cucumber, horseradish and beetroot puree.
Main courses included beurre noisette poached halibut, an 8oz 32-day dry-aged Wiltshire sirloin steak, and Jerusalem artichoke pearl barley risotto with Burleigh Garden micro herbs and pickled shallots.
The food was beautifully presented, and full of unexpected but welcome flavours. Desserts were really pretty – the white chocolate mousse with blood orange, dark chocolate soil, raspberry sorbet and aero chocolate was spectacular.
And the wine list was really varied with some organic or biodynamic wines – lots of options available by the glass, and bottles starting from £24.
Breakfast is served in the same dining room and offers everything you could possibly want – cooked options include a full English, poached Cornish haddock with poached eggs, French toast with bacon and maple syrup, and smashed avocado on toasted sourdough with grilled tomato and poached eggs. Breakfast is included when booking directly with the hotel, otherwise it’s £16 per person.
We wanted to make the most of the hotel’s location so, after exploring the grounds – having a go on the huge swing hanging from an oak tree, spotting the bee hives and finding the Art Deco pool (only open in the summer months) – we set off an a circular walk to Minchinhampton and Box.
The hotel provides a couple of walking suggestions, and their map was easy to follow along wooded lanes and across the common to the ancient market town of Minchinhampton. The market house, supported on stone columns, dates back to the 17th century and the church as far back as the 12th. But there are also plenty of modern cafes, delis and tea shops.
It’d be easy to stay for longer – the hotel is opening a self-catering lodge in the gardens in the summer, and runs wild food foraging courses, floristry experiences and wine tasting tours, plus mountain biking, horse riding and an ice cream factory are all available nearby.
Stroud is just three miles away, and the huge Cotswolds Waterpark is 20 minutes drive from the hotel.
Burleigh Court hotel is an affordable Cotswolds hotel but more importantly, a welcoming and relaxing bolt hole, and we’ll definitely be back.
Hotel rates for 2022 start from £139 for a classic room and £209 for the Romantic Room category. Book direct with the hotel and breakfast is included.